Corticosteroids are drugs used to treat COPD, they help to reduce swelling. Corticosteroid are also known as glucorticosteroid or anti-inflammatory drugs since they are used to reduce swelling in the lungs and in the airways.
There is a huge difference between corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Anabolic steroids are used to build muscles. Generally, steroids are taken by inhalation or in tablets. There is also an intravenous form that is only administered in an urgent settings.
The different forms of steroids include budesonide, beclomethsone, flunisolide, triamcinolone and fluticasone. Not all people are given steroids. One way through which your healthcare provider can know if you need a steroid or not is by trying the medication through inhalation or in tablet form for about three months.
Oral steroids are also available to treat severe cases of COPD and exacerbations. Those who suffer from COPD are given corticosteroids through inhalers, this is because much of the drug goes directly to the lungs, and it is an efficient way to administer small dosage of the drugs, and thus less side effects.
However, inhaled side effects work slowly, they may take up to several weeks for the effects to be felt.
Tablet steroids need to be taken in high amounts if they are to produce the desired effects. If you are taking oral steroids, you should take only one dose. Certain patients prefer taking their steroids during mealtimes, because it helps stop stomach upsets.
Some of the things you should watch out for when using these medications
Generally, the dosage of medication that a person takes determines the side effects to be experienced. Tablet steroids have more side effects than inhaled steroids.
One of the most common side effects of steroid inhalers is hoarse voice, sore mouth, as well as infections in the mouth and throat. It is easy to avoid these side effects. One is by using a spacer device and the other one is by washing your mouth after using the steroids.
On the other hands, using tablets steroids may cause side effects such as weight gain, bruising of the skin, high blood sugar levels, swelling of the feet and ankles and weakening of the bones.
While these side effects can cause issues to a person, lack for steroids for treatment can as well cause life threatening issues.
It is therefore imperative to talk to your healthcare provider in order to determine whether you should take steroids or not.
How much and how often should you take corticosteroids
Well, this will entirely depend on your doctor’s evaluation. In some scenarios, tablets steroids are crucial in treating pneumonia and exacerbations. Your symptoms will also determine the dosage that you will receive.
What you should do if you forget to take your corticosteroids.
Forgetting is part and parcel of life. So, if you forget to take your steroids, do not be dismayed, take another dose as soon as you can, if you are supposed to take the next dose in a few hours. However, don’t overdose.